Jun 2, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT
Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons’ new president and coach, needs a No. 2 in the front office.
Look no further than Jeff Bower, the former New Orleans Hornets general manager and current Marist College coach.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Stan Van Gundy's making his first major front office hire, finalizing agreement with Jeff Bower to become Detroit's GM, sources tell Yahoo.—
Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 02, 2014
The other reported challengers for the job – Stu Jackson, Scott Layden and Otis Smith – were hardly inspiring. By comparison, Bower was a slam dunk.
Even in isolation, this is a pretty solid hire.
Bower had his good moments with the Hornets – drafting Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton in the 2009 second round chief among them – but he was ultimately undone by George Shinn’s ownership and Chris Paul’s wandering eyes. New Orleans decided it couldn’t continue with the status quo, and that meant losing Bower.
Of course, Bower was far from perfect with the Hornets. Signing Peja Stojakovic to a big contract backfired, and he tried too hard to get rid of Tyson Chandler before Chandler blossomed into the second-best player on the Mavericks’ 2011 championship team.
Overall, Bower doesn’t have the strongest track record of potential hires. But that’s partially due to his résumé being so lengthy, leaving more time for flaws to emerge.
Bower – well-respected around the league – should help Van Gundy communicate with agents and other executives, two groups who might be relatively foreign to the first-time team president. Van Gundy made this about fit, and among the well-fitting candidates, Bower was Detroit’s best option.
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